April Fools’ Day is just around the corner so if you’re plotting a tiny trick or an elaborate prank, now is the time to get your game on. Maybe you take secret pleasure in the scheming and the plotting while others enjoy the last minute rush when a plan comes together. Either way, a little inspiration can go a long way in keeping your pranks fresh and guarantee your friends will be laughing about it for the ages. Here are the Top 5 April Fools’ pranks for college students to get your wheels turning.
One of the most classic April Fools’ Day jokes is to set the clocks forward on your roomie or another otherwise unsuspecting victim. Only go for an hour or two—more than that and it’ll be too obvious. Nothing gets a good laugh like seeing someone rush around thinking they’re late for class. If you do this, make sure you set all the clocks forward in your room or suite:
- your victim’s computer
- cell phone
- kitchen oven or coffee maker if you have one
- and car clock
Be sure to not set them back though. You don’t want to cause your roommate to miss a class, but it sure would be funny if they showed up an entire hour early. Other classic pranks include using such basic tools as shaving cream and plastic wrap. Get creative. Enough said.
YouTube video pranks can reach far beyond your target audience. Just imagine the glory! If you have some video editing skills, you could easily put together the next viral video for April Fools’ Day and join the ranks that have made YouTube history. The more believable, the better. One such video was Google Translate for Animals, a prank that left countless viewers believing they could communicate with Fluffy.
Just watch out for unintended reactions, warns Christine Erickson in her April 1, 2012 post to Mashable, “April Fools’ Day Classics: Top 10 Viral Pranks on YouTube.”
“Whether it’s a gag product or a fake movie trailer, when an April Fools’ Day prank video is convincing enough, it has the potential to go viral on YouTube,” Erickson wrote. “Unfortunately this leaves fans punked,” especially if you’ve gotten their hopes up.
These aren’t for amateurs. Scores of students over the years have found ingenious ways to temporarily alter school property for April Fools’ laughs. Aside from coloring the water in the school fountain and hiding the school mascot, some epic pranks take the art to a whole new level. If you’re feeling the urge to go epic, tread carefully lest you find yourself caught! And check your student handbook to make sure you’re not committing any punishable offenses. Check out this list of all-time epic April Fools’ Day pranks, like the R2D2 Oberservatory at Carleton College, An April 11, 2011 post to the Huffington Post, “The Most Epic College Pranks,” collected a list of all-time epic April Fools’ Day pranks, including:
- A group of Carleton students transforming the college observatory into a giant-sized R2D2.
- A Georgia Tech student completed all the course work for a fictional student, earning a bachelor’s degree for his alter-ego.
- A group of MIT students wrote a phony paper about a computer program that generated research papers — and had it accepted at a conference.
- Students at Rice turned a huge campus statue 180 degrees around on its base.
How will yours measure up?
Flash Mob pranks
April Fools’ Day pranks are infinitely more fun when done in a group. One way to get your fellow dorm mates and college peers involved in something unique is to organize a flash mob. Pick your location wisely, as you don’t want to get shut down before the show even starts. Get everyone to arrive in costume and break out in dance, or strike a pose. Take for example, this April Fool’s Flash mob on Facebook, “Rhythm Nation flash mob on April Fools’ Day,” posted by Julien Rey in 2012, where everyone showed up dressed like a SWAT team then suddenly danced to Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation.
For those of you looking for a quick gag on April Fools’ Day, one joke that never fails is making a fake parking ticket and putting it on your target’s car. To make the joke even funnier, write in a bogus reason for the ticket like: “being a fan of Justin Bieber” or “wearing the same skinny jeans for two weeks without washing.” If you pick something funny enough, even the most easy-to-embarrass target will join you for a good April Fools’ laugh.
What are some of your best “harmless but hilarious” April Fools Day pranks?